What Are We REALLY Saying About Our Listings? (Puffery de-Puffed)


I love real estate. It’s “matchmaking” between buyers and properties. A happy match can be very rewarding financially and emotionally. Looking through literally tens of thousands of listings, trying to “read between the lines” and “see between the pictures” to find the perfect match for a buyer can be daunting. Thank heavens so many real estate agents use humor in their listings!

Humor? Yes, whether they realize it or not, agents repeatedly use certain words or phrases to present their listings in the best possible light. We call that “puffing”. Puffing is legal and useful. Have you learned the true meaning of “puff” words? Below are some of my favorites, along with my interpretation of what those terms really mean. Add your favorites to the list!

Compact – Very cramped, one can reach all the walls standing still and simply extending one’s arms.

A Jewel – Cramped.

Bijou – French for “jewel”.

Convenient to local schools – Convenient for lots of schoolchildren to leave wrappers in one’s yard and to solicit one for wrapping paper, candy bars, popcorn and an endless array of “booster” products.

Deceptively spacious – Cramped.

Bring your decorator! – Ugly as sin on the interior.

Bring your imagination! – Ditto

Lots of potential – Ditto

Original owner – This property has not been updated since the day it was built.

Views! – The property has windows.

Unique views! – The property has exactly one window.

Vibrant area – Yes, vibrating from the sound of a 1000-watt speaker system, the sirens of riot squad vehicles or gunfire.

Much sought-after – You will need a GPS, breadcrumbs and a packed lunch to find this property.

Popular area – People live here.

Up-and-coming area – People are possibly considering living here.

Wow factor – Airplane seats or a sacrificial alter in the master bedroom.

Step-saver kitchen – A phone booth with appliances.

Must See Inside! – Ugly as sin on the exterior (or contains a “wow factor” inside).

Immaculate – The most overused term in real estate! One can see (most of) the floors.

Waterfront – This property drains very slowly after a rain.

Water view – Can see water running across one’s yard after a thunderstorm.

Winter view – One can see past the property line when the trees have lost their leaves. Claustrophobia returns each spring.

Golf Course Lot – Golf balls will land in one’s yard at random times. Golfers will scale the fence to find them. Don’t plant nice things right along the fence.

Golf Course View – Golf carts may be occasionally glimpsed zipping between the two homes across the street.

Reduced – The agent told the seller it was priced too high and the seller has finally taken a tiny step toward a competitive price. The agent is using this term to tell the seller, “I told you so”.

Gourmet Kitchen – There are appliances in the kitchen.

Conveniently located in sought-after family neighborhood – There is nothing special about this property and it is in pretty rough condition with layers of fingerprints and juice stains.

Rustic – Check with the county to see if septic tanks had to be permitted when this property was constructed. Otherwise, it may have a Chevy Malibu hood over a dirt hole for the septic system.

Quiet Neighborhood – Abuts a cemetery.

Close to excellent private school(s) – The public schools are suspect.

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13 Responses to “What Are We REALLY Saying About Our Listings? (Puffery de-Puffed)”

  1. Ann Bone Says:

    I love the photo of Pinnochiette. Where DO you find these images?!

  2. Allyce Says:

    Just Needs TLC – Must have a handy man ready

  3. Jim Waddell Says:

    Needs work = this is a dump


    GREAT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY = I could not make a go of it, maybe you can

    Must qualify with… = we already lost a bundle, maybe we can make it up on your mortgage

    Must close with Seller’s attorney = you are not represented

    No disclosures = buyer beware

    Now under auction terms = be prepared to pay 5% auction fee

    No picture = I did not think enough of my listing to put up a picture for 200+ days

    Call Agent Only = Self Promotion

    Call for lockbox code = Self Promotion

    Built in garage = illegal conversion, did not have permit


    Short Sale contingent upon 3rd party approval = be prepared to wait 3 months or more

    NEED SOME COSMECTIC TLC = deferred maintenance , it’s another dump

    Sweat equity = prepare to spend a bundle getting it rent ready, not livable

    Needs some repairs = another dump

  4. Margaret Says:

    This made me laugh! and I needed this today. I was just looking for a 55 and older community and ran across one that said the house was on a cul-de-sac (sort of) that would be great for skateboarding and oh by the way the owner was dead. Wonder if he died in a skateboarding accident.

  5. Pat Viohl Says:

    I really laughed at these….. and I like:

    Move-in ready = if you have been living in a flea-bag, rent-by-the-week motel, this place is going to look like a palace!

    Pet-friendly neighborhood = watch where you step.

  6. Martha Edwards Says:

    I like, ” lots of potential” you know the house is a ump, but with good imagination…you can make it work !

  7. Martha Edwards Says:

    “Los of potential” The house is a Dump…but with good imagination and lots of work…hehehe

  8. Ann Bone Says:

    Just saw a sign rider saying, “I’m gorgeous inside!”. Isn’t that a little like saying, “But he has a great personality”?

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